Power: Phillips has mentality to help City rule in Europe at last
EXCLUSIVE BY RICHARD EDWARDS KALVIN PHILLIPS could be the final piece in Pep Guardiola’s Champions League jigsaw after his mega-money move from Elland Road to the Etihad.
That is the view of Manchester City legend and former captain Paul Power (above) who believes the £45million transfer from Leeds could be the making of Phillips AND play a key part in City finally bringing home European football’s biggest prize.
Phillips signed a six-year deal with Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions last week.
“Mentally he’s very tough and he’ll also be good around the dressing room,” said Power.
“He’s likeable because he works so hard for the team.
“I think Manchester City have done their homework – he’ll prove to be a great investment.
“Pep will want the Champions League because it’s the only trophy that he’s not been able to win during his time at City.
“They were so unlucky last year. I just couldn’t believe the way the Real Madrid game went and I don’t think there needs to be much of a change for them to win it this time.”
Last season City went out in the semi-finals, 6-5 on aggregate to eventual winners Real.
“City will still get to the latter stages. Pep has been a little bit unlucky in that particular competition and maybe Kalvin Phillips is the last piece of that jigsaw.”
Phillips had come through the Leeds youth system and made almost 200 league appearances for the club, after making his debut as a teenager back in 2015.
He also has 23 England caps and was named the country’s player of the year in 2021 for his role at the Euros, helping the Three Lions to a first major final since 1966.
And having seen midfield rock Fernandinho leave City at the end of last season, Power believes Phillips could prove to be the perfect replacement.
“I absolutely loved Fernandinho because he was a committed squad player, he was determined in the challenge and he was creative too,” said Power. “I think the same of Phillips.
“He’s a little bit more creative than Rodri, who is very safe and doesn’t give the ball away but passes it backwards quite often.
“Phillips is more likely to be adventurous – he runs with the ball and he gets forward.
“He should add something to the squad that they haven’t had before.
“You can take it as read that City will be up there challenging for the title with Liverpool again.
“But this season will be very different, with so many of those players also being involved in the World Cup in Qatar.
“You need a quality squad, and that’s why players like Phillips could prove to be so important.”